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Journal entry

The Verandah at Dishoom Shoreditch

ON A SUNNY DAY, SOMEWHERE IN EAST LONDON

Imagine a summer afternoon, unusually sunny; hot, humid and expectant, like Bombay just before the monsoon. The kind of day that might make Londoners stop in their tracks, stare for a minute at the surprising blue of the sky, and clock out of work.

Outside Dishoom Shoreditch, on the Verandah, the serious business of lounging is in progress. People spill out from the shadows, and laze gratefully in the sunlight. Ice cubes clink inside crystal tumblers. Sunlight warms the brocade fabrics and carved wood of the heavy antique furniture. Shelves – filled with well-thumbed books – sit beside faded old photographs. A thin coil of sandalwood smoke rises from gently burning incense, and scratchy old jazz (Taj Mahal Foxtrot, anyone?) floats out of a 78 playing on the old gramophone. A light breeze ruffles the pages of the Times of India on the sideboard. The armchair creaks as someone settles further into its inviting bulk, sighing with contentment.

Ties are loosened, layers sloughed off. The scent of mint from a freshly-mixed Julep lingers in the air. A waitress refills glasses of Chai from a large battered teapot. Tempting snacks are ordered and passed around, shared, enjoyed; hungry fingers sneak the last pieces of Okra and Skate Cheeks from their bowls.

The chatter of voices and gentle laughter carries onto Boundary Street, and sparks the interest of passers-by. These are the pleasant signs of friends and colleagues at leisure, enjoying an afternoon out on the Verandah. Perhaps they’re even bunking off, absconding from their screens, getting slowly, happily blotto.

 Sadly, it wouldn’t be very sensible to have an entirely outdoor Verandah. This is London, not Bombay. Little monsoons occur daily.

So we invite you to join us at our lovely, new, indoor-outdoor Verandah at Dishoom Shoreditch. Pleasantly cozy, covered and warmed when the weather is inclement, but not when it’s hot.

On any day of the week, breakfast on the Verandah is relaxed, with Bacon Naans, fresh fruit, and eggs served several ways – Omelettes, Akuri or fried sunny-side-up in a naan – accompanied by strong Monsooned Malabar coffee, or endless refills of our very good House Chai.

At lunch, different persons may rub shoulders – friends eating, creatives creating, ladies lunching and workers giving up their desks for an armchair (complete with ChaiFi).

Afternoons are the perfect time to take tea, perhaps accompanied by one or two small plates, or biscuits from the bakery.

And as evening falls, Sundowners – that great Bombay tradition – are served. A Gin Fizz, Madame? Or maybe you’d rather a Julep? Perhaps a Viceroy’s Old Fashioned for you, Sir. It’s a Bombay Pimm’s for me, I think.

So – we very much hope you’ll come and indulge in a little relaxed Bombay lounging with us on the indoor-outdoor Verandah, for whatever the occasion might be, and with no heed whatsoever paid to the weather.

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Bharat Agnihotri

Hello, I am trying to arrange a baby shower and am expecting about 20-25 guests. I have been to your Shoreditch branch.. and was hoping to arrange the same either in the Varanda or in kings cross centre. Is this something you arrange ? and if yes what sort of budget is expected per head ? ps: I wrote to your reservations mail id as well.

Sara

Hi Bharat - I'm afraid we don't book out the Verandah but we may be able to help out at Dishoom King's Cross. Hopefully the team have got back to you already!

Maeve Tsivanidis

Hello, I would like to book a table outside for 4 people on Tuesday - which of your locations has outside seating and is it possible to book? Thanks, Maeve

Ginny

Hi Maeve, we take bookings throughout the day, but only for groups of 6 or more after 6pm. It isn't possible to book seating outside, as the hosts allocate the tables on the day. All of our cafés have a small seating area outside :-)